So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning.
And you won't spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.
You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy -- their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you.
But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead.
That is why the Good News was preached even to those who have died -- so that although their bodies were punished with death, they could still live in the spirit as God does.
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you.
Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
Instead, be very glad -- because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.
Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you.
If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people's affairs.
But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his wonderful name!
For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin first among God's own children. And if even we Christians must be judged, what terrible fate awaits those who have never believed God's Good News?
And "If the righteous are barely saved, what chance will the godless and sinners have?" a19
So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)